South East Wales

Dog attacks on 33 sheep 'threatens Hensol farm future'

Dog believed to be behind the attacks Image copyright Ben Jones
Image caption The black dog believed to be behind the attacks

A total of 18 sheep have been killed and 15 injured in dog attacks which have left a farmer counting the cost.

Ben Jones believes one dog is behind the 33 incidents which, he said, threatened the future of his farm at Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan.

The first attack in July cost him £1,800 in vet bills to treat eight injured lambs and remove six dead ewes.

South Wales Police warned owners that farmers were legally entitled to shoot a dog worrying livestock.

"My gut instinct is it is the same dog doing it," Mr Jones told BBC Radio Wales.

He managed to photograph the unaccompanied black Labrador cross, which had a red collar, on Wednesday 18 October.

And the previous attacks have also happened on Wednesdays:

  • 4 October: Nine ewes killed and four badly injured
  • 18 October: Three ewes killed and three badly injured

Mr Jones, who has two dogs of his own, said: "This Wednesday we have had people up patrolling the farm with guns because it has literally got to the point where it is going to finish our business off if we didn't deal with the problem.

"We are not dog haters. I've got two dogs myself. But when they are not working they are on a lead or I know where they are all of the time.

'Damage and suffering'

"I appreciate the fact that people like, when walking their dogs, to let them off their leads and have a good run, and that's fine as long as you can still see where the dog is.

"But once the dog goes out of sight you have no idea what it is doing."

The National Sheep Association, which represents sheep producers, advises farmers to "only shoot dogs as a last resort".

South Wales Police has also issued advice to dog owners, warning they face "the real prospect of their dog being killed as farmers are legally entitled to shoot a dog if it is threatening the welfare of their livestock".

PC Mark Goulding added: "The owner of this particular dog may have no clue whatsoever about the damage and suffering that the dog is causing.

"All dog owners wherever they may be should be aware of where their dogs are at all times, especially those living in or near rural areas where livestock are kept."

He said the force's Vale of Glamorgan neighbourhood team had prosecuted one dog owner following an incident involving livestock.

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